Southern California breaking news and trends

Fun returns! Beach football, Frisbee ban/fine to be eliminated

Kids throwing footballs on the beach

Tony Pierce/KPCC

Kids throwing footballs on a beach

Dust off that Frisbee and head to the beach. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is doing an about-face, getting rid of some old rules that restricted football and Frisbee on the sand. The change comes after a misunderstanding about those rules went viral.

It’s a classic case of good intentions, bad results. Last week the supervisors tried to “relax” some of the rules that said you can’t toss a football on a crowded beach if it endangers public safety.

But a couple of media outlets got it wrong — they reported that a beach football game would now cost you a thousand dollar fine.

The reports went viral. And the outrage poured in.

So Tuesday, the supervisors met to see if they could clarify things, but supervisor Don Knabe took it further. He recommended ditching the rules altogether, since nobody’s been ticketed for a beach football or Frisbee offense in 40 years.


Simi Valley addresses a heroin 'epidemic'

simi valley simi store

Photo by Robin Kanouse via Flickr Creative Commons

Simi Valley residents spoke to NBC LA about what's being calling a heroin "epidemic" in their middle and upper-middle class region. Some community members said they moved to the area to avoid "big city problems," but after 14 people died of heroin overdoses last year, it was time to search for solutions. Drug experts say a heroin epidemic in a place like Simi Valley often begins with children taking prescription medications found in their homes. They move on to other drugs when, according to local parent Michael Cook, they realize that "heroin is a lot cheaper and a lot easier to get." Community members and parents met Monday to discuss the critical situation at a city council meeting.


Alain Salas, Fremont High School teacher aide, arrested for sexual contact with student

A Fremont High School teacher aide was arrested Monday for sexual contact with a 15-year-old student, another in a string of arrests in recent weeks within LAUSD.

The FBI confirmed on Tuesday Alain Salas was arrested on campus, making it the third such arrest in recent weeks in the nation's second-largest school district. An FBI spokeswoman says he was booked for investigation of contact with a minor with intent to commit a sexual offense.

Salas, whose age hasn't been released, was expected to be charged by L.A. County prosecutors, AP reports.

Superintendent John Deasy says the FBI informed LAUSD that the man was arrested during a child sex investigation, but he's not providing details to the AP.

Two former Miramonte Elementary School teachers, an award-winning Hamilton High School teacher and an LAUSD janitor have all recently been implicated in crimes against children.


Matt Groening draws attention with star no. 2,459 on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

20th Century Fox Marketing

Matt Groening, creator of "The Simpsons" and recent $500,000 donor to UCLA's School of Film, Theater and Television, will be honored Tuesday with star no. 2,459 on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Groening's sidewalk homage to celestial gas will be located at 7021 Hollywood Blvd, not far from the star of his famous Springfield family.

The ceremony for the 12-time Emmy Award winner begins at 11:30 a.m. and will be hosted by Hollywood Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Leron Gubler. Guest speakers Hank Azaria (aka: Moe, Chief Wiggum, many more) and Yeardley Smith (voice of Lisa Simpson) will also be at the event.

Groening moved to Los Angeles in 1977 and began channelling his city stress into Binky, a rabbit cartoon featured in his "Life In Hell" comics. James L. Brooks approached the cartoonist in 1987 about an animated short stint on "The Tracey Ullman Show." 


Variety and The Vandals settle punk lawsuit over album cover

Showbiz trade Variety will be settling its long-running lawsuit against O.C. punk band The Vandals

The newspaper initially came after the group for their use of lettering on the 2004 "Hollywood Potato Chip" album cover, claiming it resembled their trademarked logo

The band changed the cover and agreed to pay $50,000 and attorneys' fees if the artwork should ever resurface. In 2010, lawyers for Variety sued the band, claiming they had breached the deal when images appeared on various websites. 

Joe Escalante, the Vandals' bassist/lawyer, told the Hollywood Reporter that this "crash course in federal court litigation" was the worst thing "that's ever happened to me, and to the band, and the hardest thing I've ever done." 

Escalante claimed the band wasn't behind the website postings and openly spoke out against Variety's lawyers on the band's website: